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Chapter 20
Of the Little Song-Notes that Dance about Babies; and of the Solemn Christening of Solomon Grundy

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  Today was wash-day come again. After I did do my parts of the washing, I did go to feed the folks in the nursery . When I was come back again, I did start to make things out of clay. I was making vases out of clay when the mamma called me to come empty the wash-water. There were two tubs full of water. That's an awful lot of water to empty. But I carry it out in the washpan. And washpans full of water are not so much water at a time, but they soon empty the tub. 315 }
  Then the mamma did have me to weed onions. There were an awful lot of weeds trying to grow up around those onions. It took a very long time to pull all the weeds. And my back did get some tired feels, but I did get those weeds pulled out. I have thinks the onions were saying, when the wind did rustle them, "We thank you for the more room we now have got to grow in." Folks growing in a garden do say interest things. 316 }
  From the onion garden I did go to the Jardin des Tuileries. I so did go to have a little service there, for this is the borning day of Charles de Valois in 1270, and the going-away day of Saint Grégoire in 604. Felix Mendelssohn did ride in my pocket to service. He did sleep most of the time, though. I did begin to sing by the two little trees I have planted, for Saint Grégoire I and Charles de Valois. I first did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus, Hosanna in excelsis." While I was singing, Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium came. They did wait while I did sing two more songs. Then I said a long prayer and a little prayer. 317 }
  Afterwards we did start to go along the path. We went a little way. Then I did go aside. I went aside to the house of Elsie , to see the new baby. It was sleeping in its cradle that the husband of Elsie made out of a box. He put rockers on the box and Elsie put soft feels in it. After the box did have rockers on it and soft feels in it, they did take the baby girl from the cradle and lay her in the bed. And now everyday, except the day she does go with her mother Elsie to visit her grandma, the baby does lay in the cradle. And Elsie does rock the cradle with her foot while she sews. She sings and sings. She sings "Rocka-by baby in the tree top; when the wind blows, the cradle will rock." And while she does sing, I have knowings that the little song-notes do dance about the cradle of the baby. 318 }
  Today I did stay quite a time long to look upon the face of the baby. I so do love babies. Every night I pray for the twins I want when I grow up. Some nights I pray that they may have blue eyes and golden hair. Other nights I pray for them to have brown eyes and brown hair. Sadie McKibben tells me I better stop changing my prayers about so much, or the angels may bring to me when I grow up twins with streaked hair and variegated eyes. 319 }
  After I did look upon the little baby at the house of Elsie , I did have thinks to go to the house of Sadie McKibben . I so did go. As I did go along, I did have wonders if mothers can see the little song-notes that dance about their babies' cradles when they sing lullaby songs to them. I went on across the field. When I was come to a stump by the fence corner, I stopped. I heard a criard noise . It came from near the stump. I think it was a mulot I looked looks about. I had not seeing of it. I went on. I saw a blue jay near by the old log where I did hide nineteen acorn children on a gray day in September. He was looking looks about. I watched him make a fly-away with one of my acorns. I did count what was left. There was only a few. 320 }
  I went on. When I was come to the house of Sadie McKibben , she was washing clothes. On washing days Sadie McKibben does look a bit different from her appears on other days. On washdays along in the afternoon her hair does hang in strings about her face. Her dress does have crinkles all adown it. And her nice blue gingham apron with cross stitches on it does have rumples and soapy smells. I do know so for I do smell those soapy smells when I cuddle close to her apron on washdays. 321 }
  Today I did stay by the side of Sadie McKibben for a little time. Then I did go to weed her onions for her. They did have looks like they did have needs for more room to grow in. And while I did weed her onions, I did see many beautiful things about. There is so much to see near about and a little way off, and there is so much to hear. And most all the time I am seeing, I am hearing, and I do have such glad feels . 322 }
  Today we did christen Solomon Grundy . He was borned a week ago yesterday on Monday. That's why we did name him Solomon Grundy. And this being Tuesday we did christen him, for in the rhyme, the grandpa does sing to the children about Solomon Grundy being christened on Tuesday. Yesterday I made him a christening robe out of a new dishtowel that was flapping in the wind. But the aunt had no appreciation of the great need of a christening robe for Solomon Grundy. And my ears were slapped until I thought my head would pop open, but it didn't. It just ached. Last night when I went to bed I prayed for the ache to go away. This morning when I woke up it had gone out the window. I did feel good feels from my nightcap to my toes. 323 }
  I thought about the christening, and early on this morning, before I yet did eat my breakfast, I went out the window that the ache went out in the night. I went from the window to the pig-pen . I climbed into the pig-pen. I crawled on my hands and knees back under the shed where he and his sisters five and his little brother were all having breakfast from their mother. I gently did pull away by his hind legs, from among all those dear baby pigs, he who had the most curl in his tail. 324 }
  I took him to the pump and pumped water on him to get every speck of dirt off. He squealed because the water was cold. So I took some of the warm water the mamma was going to wash the milk pans in and I did give him a warm bath in the washpan. Then he was the pinkiest white pig you ever saw. I took the baby's talcum powder can and I shook it lots of times all over him. When the powder sprinkled in his eyes, he did object with a regular baby-pig squeal. And I climbed right out the bedroom window with him, coming fast. I did go to the barn in a hurry, for in the barn yesterday I did hide the christening robe . When I reached the top of the hay I stopped to put it on Solomon Grundy . Then we proceeded to the cathedral . 325 }
  A little ways we did go, and I remembered how on the borning day of him I did ask that grand fir tree, Good King Edward I , to be his god-father. And that smaller fir tree growing by his side -- the lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile -- I did ask to be his godmother. We went aside from the path that leads unto the cathedral . We went another way. We went adown the lane to where dwell Good King Edward I and the lovely Queen Eleanor. And there beside them Solomon Grundy was christened. They who were present at the christening were these -- Saint Louis and Charlemagne and Hugh Capet and King Alfred and Theodore Roosevelt and William Wordsworth and Homer and Cicero and Brave Horatius and Isaiah . These last two did arrive in a hurry in the midst of the service. Being dogs with understanding souls , they did realize the sacredness of the occasion and they stood silent near Charlemagne. 326 }
  When we got most to the end of the service just at that very solemn moment while I was waiting for Good King Edward I and his lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile to bestow their blessing upon the white head of the babe, he gave a squeal - - just the kind of a squeal all baby pigs give when they are wanting their dinner. After the naming of him, I placed around his neck a little wreath that I made in the evening yesterday for him. Then I did sing softly a hymn to the morning and came again home to the pig-pen with Solomon Grundy . 327 }
  When I got to the corner of the barn, I pulled off his christening robe . I did hide it again in the hay. Then I climbed into the pig-pen . I did say the Lord's prayer softly over the head of Solomon Grundy . After I said Amen I did poke him in among all his sisters and near unto his mother. Aphrodite gave a grunt of satisfaction, also did Solomon Grundy. 328 }
  I went to the house. I climbed in the window again. I took off my nightcap and my nightgown. I did get dressed in a quick way. The little girl was romping in the bed. I helped her to get her clothes on. Then we went to the kitchen for our breakfast. The mamma was in the cellar. She did hear me come into the kitchen. She came in. With her came a kindling and a hazel switch . 329 }
  After she did spank me, she told me to get the mush for the little girl's breakfast. It was in a kettle. I spooned it out into a blue dish that came as premium in the box of mush when they brought it new from the mill town . After we did eat our mush and drink our milk, the mamma told me to clear the table and go tend chickens. I carried feed to them. I scattered it in shakes. The chickens came in a quick way. Fifteen of those chickens I did give names to, but it's hard to tell some of them apart. Most of them have about the same number of speckles on them. I counted all the chickens that were there. There weren't as many there as ought to be there. Some came not. These were the hens setting in the chicken-house. I went in. I lifted them off. They were fidgety and fluffy and plucky. I did carry them out to the feed. 330 }
  While they were eating breakfast I counted their eggs. I made a discovery. Minerva hadn't as many eggs as the others. That meant she wouldn't have as many children as the others would have. I did begin to feel sorry about that, because already I had picked out names for her fifteen children and there in her nest there were only twelve eggs. I didn't know what to do, and then I had a think what to do. I did it. I took an egg from each nest of the three other setting hens. That fixed things. 331 }
  Then I thought I would go on an exploration trip and to the nursery , and there I would give the folks a talk on geology. But then the mamma called me to scour the pots and pans. That is something I do not like to do at all. So all the time I'm scouring them I keep saying lovely verses that helps so much and by and by the pots and pans are all clean. After that all day the mamma did have more works for me to do. There was more wood to bring in. There was steps to scrub. There was cream to be shaked into butter . There was raking to do in the yard. There was carpet strings to sew together. In-between times there was the baby to tend . 332 }
  And all the time all day long I did have longings to go on exploration trips. The fields were calling. The woods were calling. I heard the wind. He was making music in the forest. It was soft music. It was low. It was an echo of the songs the flowers were singing. Even if there was much works to do, hearing the voices helped me to get the works done in the way they ought to be done. 333 }
  The most hurry time of all was the time near eventime , for there was going to be company to eat at the table. The mamma was in a hurry to get supper. So I helped her. She only had time to give one shake of salt to the potatoes, so I gave them three more. She did not have time to put sauce on the peas, so I flavored them with lemon extract, for the mamma is so fond of lemon flavoring in lemon pies. When she made the biscuits, she was in such a hurry she forgot to set them on a box back of the stove for an airing, as usual, before putting them in the oven. Being as she forgot to do it, while she was in the cellar to get the butter I did take the pan of biscuits out of the oven and put them under the stove so they would not miss their usual airing. Then I did go to the woodshed for more wood. When I did put it in the woodbox the mamma reached over for me. She jerked me. She spanked me with her hand and the hairbrush and the pancake-turner. Then she shoved me out the door. She said for me to get out and stay out of her way. 334 }
  I came here to the barn. I sit here printing. In-between times I stretch out on the hay. I feel tired and sore all over. I wonder for what it was the mamma gave me that spanking. I have tried so hard to help her to-day. Solomon Grundy is grunting here beside me. I went by and got him as I came along. Here on the hay I showed to him the writings in the two books my Angel Father and Angel Mother made for me. These books are such a comfort , and when I have them right along with me, Angel Father and Angel Mother do seem nearer. 335 }
Follow One Character I did bow my head and ask my guardian angel to tell them there in heaven about Solomon Grundy being christened today. Then I drew him up closer to my gingham apron and I patted him often. And some of the pats I gave to him were for the lovely Peter Paul Rubens that used to be. And the more pats I gave Solomon Grundy, the closer he snuggled up beside me. Tonight I shall sing to him a lullaby song as I cuddle him up all snowy white in his christening robe , before I take him out to his mother Aphrodite in the pig-pen . 336 }
  I now have a bottle with a nipple on it for Solomon Grundy . But he won't pay much attention to it. He has prefers to get his dinner from his mother Aphrodite out in the pig-pen . After he so did have his dinner today, and after my morning works were done and I did have that hen started on a set -- that hen had wants to set so much. I did have an awful time getting her off the nest at feeding-time. I had thinks I would set her myself being as the mamma doesn't want to bother about it. I had thinks I would put three eggs under her today, and three more when comes tomorrow and three on the next day, and three on the next. That will give her a good setting of eggs to start on. 337 }
  Today, after I so did have her started on a set with three eggs, then I went to visit Dear Love . I did cuddle up Solomon Grundy in one arm and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus in the other arm. And so we went to visit Dear Love. Solomon Grundy wore his christening robe and he looked very sweet in it. I gave him a nice warm bath before we did start, so as to get all the pig-pen smells off. Sometimes smells do get in that pig-pen, though I do give it brush-outs every day, and I do carry old leaves and bracken ferns and straws in for beds for Aphrodite . After I did give Solomon Grundy his bath I did dust talcumatum powder over him. I was real careful not to get any in his eyes. 338 }
  As we did go along I did sing to them a lullaby about Nonette and Saint Firmin, and more I did sing about Iraouaddy. We went on. Then I did tell them about the beautiful love the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time does have for the pensée girl with the far-away look in her eyes. But he is afraid to tell her about it. Sadie McKibben says he is. Sadie McKibben says he is a very shy man. 339 }
  Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did go to sleeps while I was telling them about it and Solomon Grundy did grunt a little grunt. It was a grunt for more sings. So I did sing to him: "Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the lamb make thee?" He had likes for that song and he grunted a grunt with a question in it. So I did sing him some more" "Indeed he did, Solomon Grundy, indeed he did. And the hairs of thy baby head, they are numbered." Soon I shall be counting them to see how many they are. 340 }
  We went on to the house of Dear Love . When we were come to there, the husband of Dear Love was digging in the ground under the front window of their little house. As he did dig, he did pick up the little rocks that were under the window and he did lay them aside. I did have asks what for was he digging up the ground under their window. And he did give explanations . He is making a flower-bed, and when it is made, Dear Love is going to plant morning-glory seeds in it. And then morning-glory vines will grow up around the window. I think that will be so nice. I did ask him how far up they would grow. And he reached up his hand to where they have thinks the morning-glory vines will grow to. I looked up. It was high up. It was lots more up than I have growed to. Now I think it would be nice to be a morning-glory vine and grow up and up. In the fields I have had seeing that the little white ones there do grow out and out. I did ask them how many leaves does the morning-glory have, that is going to grow up by their window. They both did say they were sorry but they did not know. Then I did tell them that they did not need to have cry feels about it, because when it is growing up we can learn together how many leaves it has. And he did stop digging digs, to take Solomon Grundy in his arms, and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus had allows for Dear Love to pet his paws. 341 }

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